Review: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

  • January 17, 2017
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of Deception: Murder in Hong Kong, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

A Nice Bump From Mysterium, But Don’t Expect Short Games

I picked up a copy of Mysterium back in July 2016, and recently picked up a copy of the Hidden Signs expansion, since my girlfriend wanted to play the game every time we had a game night, and when she’s interested in a game I try to keep her interested in it.

We also recently played The Resistance, which she quite enjoyed, but the minimum number of players makes it a little difficult for us to play.

While I’ve yet to play it with her, Deception: Murder in Hong Kong is a nice mix of both Mysterium and The Resistance. Four or more people are randomly assigned a role to play (although the Forensic Scientist role can be assigned to the player teaching the rest of the group), with all trying to investigate a murder that one of the players committed (the Murderer), and possibly one person helped with (an Accomplice). This last role also brings into play the Witness, who knows who the Murderer and Accomplice is, but not the key clues, or which is which.

Over the course of three rounds the Forensic Scientist tries to give all other players a variety of pre-defined clues, to help narrow down the Key Evidence and Means of Murder.

If the investigators can determine which player and two items are relevant, the detectives win. However, if the Witness is being played with, and the Murderer and Accomplice can pick them out, the Murderer actually gets away.

What reminds me of Mysterium is that the clues are pretty open to interpretation, with the players having to really sort out what the Forensic Scientist is trying to suggest. With only the ability to swap out a single card each round, this adds a nice amount of tension to the game. What reminds me of The Resistance is pretty obviously the hidden roles aspect.

The components themselves are quite nice with the cards that will probably get the most use, the ‘scene’ cards, being a nice sturdy cardboard. The bullets that go along with these, to denote what line item is relevant, are also quite nice.

The clue and means cards are smaller, but given that they’re laid out and looked at, this isn’t too big of an issue, except for people that may be on the opposite side of the playing table.

Finally, while it says games last 15 to 30 minutes, depending upon how talkative the group is, games could take quite a bit longer than that. I might even say that games that short might not be as enjoyable of an experience, due to the Murderer being picked out rather quickly.

For a nice bump up from, and merging of, Mysterium and The Resistance, I highly recommend this game, and give it five of five stars. If neither of those games appeal to you, then this might not be what you’re looking for. If you haven’t played any of these, then I’d actually recommend Mysterium first.